Thank God Almighty, we are home at last!! I think that pretty much sums up how we feel to be home from our travels abroad. It was an overwhelming experience and we enjoyed our time in China, but too long away makes your heart yearn for the smallest of comforts that we take for granted. With that being said, let me recap everyone on what has transpired since I left you a little before midnight on New Years Eve while in Beijing.
The New Year stared early for us at the Langham Hotel at around 4:30 am. I woke to the alarm to find that I had been relegated to the small love seat bed that I had made for Savannah! When I finished the Blog I looked over to the bed to find that my three roommates had positioned themselves equally across the king size bed and looked so comfortable that I just curled up on the small couch and worked to get a good 4 hours of sleep in before we started the journey home. After Ann Marie and I both showered and finished the packing we raised the kids, bundled them up and prepared to leave. A short shuttle ride to the airport and we started making our way through security. After relatively pain free process we found ourselves at the gate with a little time to spare before we began to bored so I set out to grab a coffee and spend the last 19 Yuan we had saved! After a magnet purchase we were Yuan free and ready to board. Wouldn’t you know it, I was selected for an additional screening on the jetway that included checking all the carryon bags (I was packed like a Nepalese Sherpa!) and a TSA approved pat down (I will reserve my comments on this one for later!). Ann Marie, Savannah and Aiden all got loaded in and I followed a few minutes after and we settled in for the long 14-hour ride back to Chicago. Our kids did an awesome job on the flight and had relatively no issues, but there was one kid on coach that cried for the entire 14 hours (thank goodness for the complimentary Bose headphones AA provided)! After some superb airline meals and great service we enjoyed a safe touchdown at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 6:30 am CST when Aiden immediately became a United States Citizen! After making our way to Unites States Customs we presented the official paperwork (for those of you who have adopted internationally, it’s the manila envelope!) where Aiden was cleared to enter the country and we were on our way home! Another pass through security and we headed to the AA Club to wait for the flight back to RDU. A couple of hours later we boarded a small Canadian regional jet for home and Aiden had his first meltdown on the trip home. He was pretty much inconsolable for the entire 2-hour flight home due to the lack of sleep and his inability to get comfortable in the small seat. Well, we made it the entire way without anyone on the plane getting out of control due to the crying child and we deplaned and headed for baggage claim after touchdown in some bad crosswinds. We were met at the exit by Ann Marie’s parents and Grandmother as well as our friends the Shades with their kids. It was a welcome sight to see their smiling faces and know we were truly home! After sharing some stories we headed for the baggage claim and then for Holly Springs!
At home we were treated to another more surprises as my parents and nieces made the ride up from Sanford to meet Aiden and found lots of goodies and groceries to get us started on the way to normalcy on the home front! After visiting for about an hour everyone departed and we settled to try and get the body clocks back to where they should be. Everyone settled down for a nap around 4:00 pm and after a couple of hours we were back up and for unpacking and getting things put away. After we all had a really good dinner we decided that it was time to wash all the clothes from the trip. This is when we got our next surprise….the washer broke on the second load! Seems that the bearings on the tub went out causing a great noise and vibration. Well, needless to say there is a purchase in our near future as the replacement parts cost nearly half the price of a new washer! Sears….here I come! That aside we finished off the rest of Saturday by opening the presents that Santa had left for the kids and letting them get some good playtime in before bath and bed which came at a little after 11:00 pm as in our heads it was still 10:00 am….Beijing time! I think the kids went down shortly after midnight, Ann Marie sometime thereafter, and I lay alone downstairs till around 2:00 am that was the last time I remember looking at the clock. Thanks Discovery Channel!
Sunday was pretty much a blur due to the sleep cycle being so far off, but I know that I was awoken by Savannah getting in bed with me at 4:30 am after I had just fallen asleep and then the cartoons came on at 6:00! Needless to say my sleep time was over and we all kicked off another day of adjustment. After lunch we decided that a longer nap might do us all some good, so we settled around 1:30. When I awoke it was 5:00 pm and we were supposed to be at Ann Maries parents for dinner and to do laundry at the same time! Ooops! After some phone calls it was decided to have Ann Marie’s parents visit so that the kids could open their presents and a good time was had by all! After playing for a bit more we concluded the night with baths and bedtime around 10:00 pm. I think I finally got to sleep at 1:30 am, so I am the last of the group to work on resetting that internal clock! I missed television, so I am trying to catch up!
This morning came early again, but it looks like we are all getting closer to the cycle we need to be on. Today we are going to do a little shopping to stock up for the week and prepare for a full week of “Kennedy, family of 4!”. Tonight we will go to bed at our normal bedtimes and say a little prayer for a long nights sleep.
Well, that pretty much concludes our journey to adopt Aiden and the little blue light in his window has been turned off for the first time since we put it there earlier this year when our paperwork was approved and he was destined to be our little boy. I think that future updates on our family will be on our family website that is at http://web.me.com/kennedysnc/The_Kennedys/Welcome.html and will be updated as much as having full time jobs and kids allow! So thank you for following along with us and we hope you enjoyed all of our posts and photos, and till then……
Michael (Why do appliances not last very long anymore?), Ann Marie (I love ice!), Savannah (What do you mean I have to take a nap?) and Aiden (Why is my sister playing with my toys?) Kennedy
|Mom has some champagne to celebrate before takeoff for home!|
|A last look at Beijing from the airplane window. Next stop....USA!|
|Savannah finally gets into what Santa left her at the house!|
|Aiden looks surprised to find a Thomas blanket under the tree!|
|Aiden loves his new remote control bike! Thanks Schade Family!|
|Nana and Pop-Pop supplied a new set of wheels for Aiden!|
|No pressure there Dr. Kennedy!|
|Think she looks happy to have a little brother?|
|Finally someone who can share in her love of singing!|
|I think they have bonded pretty well....Aiden and his Jie Jie!!|